Fox News Channel enjoyed the largest July 4th audience in its 23-year history thanks to nearly 5 million people tuning in to see President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America.”
Nielsen Media Research reported 4.8 million watched Trump’s approximately 20-minute long patriotic address and surrounding festivities broadcast live from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Fox’s audience was over three times larger than CNN’s, which had 1.5 million viewers during the same 6:30-to-7:30 p.m. EST window.
MSNBC, which did not broadcast Trump’s speech, had an audience of 374,000.
Three major broadcast networks — ABC, NBC and CBS — also chose not to air the event.
Trump’s “Salute to America” also outperformed NBC’s Fourth of July fireworks broadcast from New York City later in the evening, which drew 3.8 million viewers.
Though Democratic politicians — including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — and media personalities decried Trump’s decision to hold the event, arguing he was doing so for political purposes, the president delivered a non-partisan ode to American greatness.
“As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage. Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told: the story of America. It is the epic tale of a great nation whose people have risked everything for what they know is right and what they know is true,” Trump said.
— Dan Scavino Jr.?? (@Scavino45) July 5, 2019
“It is the chronicle of brave citizens who never give up on the dream of a better and brighter future. And it is the saga of thirteen separate colonies that united to form the most just and virtuous republic ever conceived,” he continued.
Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen argued that Trump made his critics look small in his “Salute to America.”
“Of all the stupid freak-outs we have experienced since Trump was elected, the hyperventilation over his Fourth of July address and celebration on the Mall may be the stupidest,” he wrote.
Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, pointed out that Trump was not the first commander-in-chief to give a major address on Independence Day.
Others included Bush, as well as John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
“Millions of ordinary Americans who tuned in to watch must have been wondering what the fuss was all about,” Thiessen observed. “Democrats promised they would witness a partisan address. But instead, they saw the president deliver a deeply unifying speech that celebrated America’s accomplishments, and the courage of our men and women in uniform.
“With each passing minute, the president looked larger while his critics looked increasingly petty and small.”
Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday he plans hold a similar event next year and “for the foreseeable future.”
President Trump on #July4th Salute to America: “It was a wonderful day for all Americans and based on its tremendous success, we’re just making the decision and I think we can say we’ve made the decision to do it again next year and maybe we can say for the foreseeable future.” pic.twitter.com/iBEc6hhgL2
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 8, 2019
“It was a wonderful day for all Americans and based on its tremendous success, we’re just making the decision and I think we can say we’ve made the decision to do it again next year and maybe we can say for the foreseeable future,” Trump said.
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